🦠 COVID-19: How can we use our unique skillset to help our communities?

Rich Field on March 23, 2020

As developers we can easily work from home; in fact many of us already do this everyday. The current lockdowns being enforced around the world mean... [Read Full]
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I wonder if there's any way at all data science/AI/ML techniques and tools can be used to contribute to the search for a vaccine.

Can someone with biotech knowledge explain in laymen's terms what it would take to find a vaccine? Could a site like fold.it actually leverage the global developer community to accelerate the process? Or this is just a pipedream?


You can contribute your computing power to FoldigAtHome. The Covid19 research takes GPU cycles and you can configure it to compute when idle.
Your computer contributes to the sars-cov-2 vaccine research. It's more of a brute force approach though, as far as I understand it.


Cheers. Yeah I've heard about contributing computing power, it's not really feasible though given my circumstances and computer.
I'm more interested in whether we can actually contribute to the research itself. E.g. maybe there's some sort of protein involved, and vaccine researchers need to model all the ways it can be folded. If it's a general purpose task, maybe devs could contribute without having specific biology expertise.

Again, I've no idea if this is remotely feasible or not, so would be nice to know how the process works to find a vaccine for something like covid-19

I've only looked into briefly as at work right now, but I believe you can also contribute on fold.it by solving puzzles manually. The idea being that humans are better at pattern matching and that eventually the results of the puzzles could be used to improve AI pattern matching.

Do you know if there's some sort of open-source COVID research lab, whether on GitHub or elsewhere? I'd be interested to see how the process for finding a vaccine works.

In normal times you'd expect biotech companies to strongly guard their proprietary r&d. But for a global pandemic like COVID, surely the incentive for everyone is to share research in real-time to find a cure faster?


Poland have recently completed a COVID-19 Hackathon
Dev member @meatboy participated

I see three main themes:

  • helping neighbours / local communities
  • remote education for children not at school
  • promoting good self-isolating practices

@biuni has created an awesome dashboard that collates and worldwide COVD-19 tools and resources


It would appear that WHO is in the process of creating an official App in React Native. They have a github repo and they are accepting contributors.
Related article here.


New article listing various ways new and existing apps are being used in the fight against COVID-19. Including using FitBits, Apple Watches etc to gather data and track symptoms.


Lots of GitHub projects were dedicated to the pandemic. For example, following the lastest number. Some Chinese-Lang projects dedicated to record things happened in China since last Dec.

I think that most developers focus on sharing and saving information, one way or another.


Yes, most of what I've found is different ways of displaying the JHU data: coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html.
In some cases translated into other languages, or making it more mobile friendly.
This one by @dbumbeishvili is a good one.


Nice post! I also made this post today here talking about what I did to help people here in Brazil! Check it!


Stay home. Wash your hands. Keep a safe distance. That are the best actions you can take to combat the virus.

Offfering services like you mention are nice, to help eachother.


Official Contact tracing app is seeking volunteers...



@netcastly are developing a site where people in need can post bills they need paying.


This awesome site was built for people in NZ to find a free supermarket delivery slot.


There is a list of projects looking for volunteers here:

Found this through this link: experiments.withgoogle.com/hacktohelp

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